If you didn't grow up in poverty, it can be hard to understand the issues, obstacles, and hidden rules people in poverty deal with every day. And when you lack understanding, you either don't see the need to help, OR you might help in ways that actually hurt the people you're trying to help, regardless of your intentions. The books in this list will open readers' minds to the realities of poverty in America, and they give ideas and tips for how to help. #poverty #bekind #serveothers #books

If you didn’t grow up in generational poverty, it can be difficult to understand the issues, obstacles, and hidden rules people living in poverty deal with every day. And when you lack understanding, it can lead to various problems.

If you didn't grow up in poverty, it can be hard to understand the issues, obstacles, and hidden rules people in poverty deal with every day. And when you lack understanding, you either don't see the need to help, OR you might help in ways that actually hurt the people you're trying to help, regardless of your intentions. The books in this list will open readers' minds to the realities of poverty in America, and they give ideas and tips for how to help. #poverty #bekind #serveothers #books

You might think you shouldn’t do anything to help because all they need to do is just “pull themselves up by their bootstraps,” which is not the case for many people. Or, on the other hand, you might want to help, but you end up doing so in ways that can actually hurt the people you’re trying to help, even though you have the best of intentions.

The following books will open readers’ minds to the realities of poverty in America and similar countries in the developed world. Some do delve into alleviating poverty in developing countries, but for the most part, the focus of these books is on poverty in America.

Some of these books about poverty provide general understanding, others lay out best practices for school and/or community involvement and engagement, and still others warn of the dangers of helping without understanding the deeper issues. Without exception, the book titles are self-explanatory.

If you were to only choose one of these books to read, my suggestion is the first one below: A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby K. Payne.

Click on the book covers to go to the Amazon product page and find out more information.  Continue reading “Books to Help You Understand Poverty (and How to Alleviate It)”

Nancy Blaue and Friends Feeding Hungry Kids

 

Note: This is part two of a profile on Nancy Blaue. To read the first post about her promotion of literacy through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and her job with Parents as Teachers, click here.

 

“Kids that are hungry aren’t learning.”

Any teacher that works with kids who live in poverty will be nodding his or her head right now. And there is no time when some kids are more hungry than at school on a Monday morning, after having eaten little to no food at home over the weekend.

Nancy Blaue sees poverty firsthand nearly every day when she does home visits for her job as a Parent Educator with Parents as Teachers. Her friend Clinetta Weinrich, who often says the quote above, saw the effects of it at school. And Clinetta, a (now retired) kindergarten teacher for the Wellsville-Middletown R-1 School District in Wellsville, Missouri, decided to do something about it.

She knew of a group that worked in tandem with the Warren County R-3 School District in nearby Warrenton to help feed kids over the weekends. The group would pack bags of food that were then distributed at school on Friday afternoons to kids who might otherwise be without food.

Continue reading “Nancy Blaue and Friends: Feeding Hungry Kids”

Adam and Nancy Blaue: Imagining a Library

 

Nancy Blaue met her husband, Adam, when she was 14 years old. He claims it was love at first sight, but Nancy’s not so sure. Nevertheless, the two got married just months after she graduated from high school in the early 1990s. Due to some medical issues, the couple were advised to have children early on. The two became parents at what most would consider a very young age, but their family was soon complete with two daughters and a son.

Adam and Nancy live on a farm in northern Montgomery County, Missouri, where they raised their children. Their two daughters, Katie and Libby, are now married and both are expecting babies. Will, their son, will graduate from Wellsville-Middletown R-1 High School in just a few weeks.

If you’ve ever met Nancy, you know she is not only dedicated to her own family, but she also cares about the families surrounding her. Nearly everything she does is focused on serving families of all shapes and sizes in her community.

Continue reading “Nancy Blaue: Imagining a Library in Every Home”

NOTE: This page contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase or sign up for a program, I may earn a commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

 

Are you looking for something different to get that special mom in your life this year? If she’s tired of getting the traditional flowers and kitchen appliances, try some of these options of unique Mother’s Day gifts. There are choices to fit every budget.

   Continue reading “Unique Mother’s Day Gifts for Every Budget”

Photo of Andrew and Kaylee Paredes: Smiling Through Life with a Cleft Lip and Palate

“There’s something we need to tell you.”

When Laura Lee Rose heard these words shortly after giving birth to her first child, she didn’t know what to expect. By her own admission, she was “out of it” after the birth, but she clearly remembers that before she saw her daughter for the first time, the nurses wanted to prepare her for something. Kaylee had been born with a cleft lip and cleft palate.

Fortunately for Kaylee’s parents, one of the nurses had a daughter with the same condition. She quickly showed Laura Lee pictures of her five-year-old’s winning smile, which allayed some of Laura Lee’s fears. So she knew it was a correctable birth defect, but she was also well aware that it would be a long road ahead for Kaylee.

So what is a cleft lip and palate? According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, “A cleft palate is an opening or split in the roof of the mouth that occurs when the tissue doesn’t fuse together during development in the womb. A cleft palate often includes a split (cleft) in the upper lip (cleft lip) but can occur without affecting the lip.”

In Kaylee’s words, “There’s basically a hole from the back of my throat up through my nose. It wasn’t closed, so there was just a big opening.”

The birth defect is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors that cannot be predicted or prevented, based on current research. Currently, most parents are aware of this condition before their child is born. However, when Kaylee was born in the 1980s, ultrasounds weren’t as sophisticated or as widespread as they are today, so her parents and doctor weren’t aware she had a cleft lip and palate until she was born.

  Continue reading “Kaylee Paredes: Smiling Through Life with a Cleft Lip and Palate”

Amy Simpson: Advocating for Mental Health

 

When Amy Simpson was four years old, her mom would often lock herself into her bedroom for hours at a time. While that’s not an ideal situation at any time, the bigger issue is that this would happen while Amy’s dad was at work and her older siblings were at school. So that left Amy and her two-year-old sister on their own.

How a Parents Mental Illness Can Affect Children // Read Amy Simpsons story to discover how kids are affected by mental illness in their home. Find tips for how to help them. // #mentalillness #mentalhealth #kids #family #parenting #kindness

More than a decade would pass before Amy’s mom was diagnosed with schizophrenia, though she’d been showing symptoms—some quite concerning—since she was in her late teens. This was the 70s, after all, and mental illness carried much more of a stigma than it does today. And it was never discussed in the church, which was a major problem because Amy’s dad was a pastor.

Amy recalls that her mom didn’t have any friends. She knew plenty of people an interacted with them on a regular basis at church, but she socially struggled, and she was very withdrawn and disengaged. She often couldn’t explain her thoughts or emotions.

In many families that have a family member with a mental illness, it’s very similar to households where someone has an addiction. Everything centers around that person. Everyone does what they can to make adaptations to protect, avoid, or keep from upsetting that person. This is what happened with Amy’s family, without anyone acknowledging it. She also can’t remember a time when things felt “right” with her mom.

“From as far back as I can remember, I lived with the conviction that I was stronger than my mom.”

“She needed my help and protection. … That awareness was always with me, but it wasn’t something that I processed. The whole family functioned that way without talking about it.”

Continue reading “Amy Simpson: Advocating for Mental Health”

NOTE: This page contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase or sign up for a program, I may earn a commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Books That Teach Kids About ForgivenessAs adults, we know forgiveness is a virtue we all need to cultivate, but we also realize it’s not easily learned. Kids often have a hard time with it (as do adults!), and they need to have forgiveness modeled to them by the people around them in order to begin to understand the need for and importance of it.

As with many things in life, kids (and adults) can also learn about forgiveness from stories—both non-fiction and fiction. Through stories, kids can observe situations where other children need to forgive, and they can learn from the ways the characters deal with those situations.

The following fiction books will help kids understand the importance of forgiveness. This isn’t an exhaustive list of books that teach forgiveness by any means, as many books deal with the theme of forgiveness in minor ways. However, these books place a primary focus on the value of forgiveness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books That Teach Kids About Forgiveness // #kids #parenting #teaching #reading #forgiveness #books #childrensbooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books That Teach Kids About Forgiveness // #kids #parenting #teaching #reading #forgiveness #books #childrensbooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading “Books That Teach Kids Forgiveness”